USB camera quality poor

Hi there,

I’ve just purchased an X2 and am testing out multi source with a Logitech C920 webcam. I can get the USB camera to show fine on the output but the quality of the image is far below the 720P HD it should be. I suspect that the problem is because basically auto everything is turned on by default which is reducing the quality of the image. Obviously when connected to the Webcaster you don’t have access to the settings you would get by having it connected to a computer and running the Logitech software so my question is how do I go about improving image quality, or is it just as good as it’s going to get?

I picked the C920 in particular as it’s listed as playing nicely with the X2, if the image quality can’t be any better by default is there a better choice? C922 maybe or another webcam entirely?



Hi Jon,

The USB camera feature is very much intended as a secondary input, and there are limitations to the quality of a USB webcam. Unfortunately there aren’t any advanced settings available to tweak the image capture.

For a high quality video we would recommend using the HDMI input to capture the output of a camcorder or such. This will be a significant improvement even over the best USB webcams out there.

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the reply, unfortunately an HDMI camera is out of our budget right now, and also the aim is to stream talks with slideshows coming from a PC so currently the PC will be the HDMI source. Before purchasing I looked at some example videos on youtube such as this one to get an idea of the kind of quality I could expect from a webcam. In that video he switches full screen to the webcam a few times and whilst the picture doesn’t look quite as good as the HDMI source, it still looks pretty good and sharp. He doesn’t I think tell you which webcam he is using but it’s shown on screen and looks like a C920 or C922. I’m getting a much more grainy, poor quality picture reminiscent of the kind of quality you would expect from webcams years ago - most definitely in the SD rather than HD realm.

However, I haven’t yet tested with the proper lighting setup so it might just be that low light levels caused the webcam to auto everything and create a really poor picture quality. I’ll be testing against the stage it will be used to stream which does have a proper lighting rig so I’ll see how it looks in that case. I’m guessing as there are no webcam controls, there is no way to control the zoom?



You are correct Jon that there are no webcam controls, including zoom, on Webcaster X2.

Lighting can definitely improve image quality as webcams have smaller sensors providing poorer quality in low-light settings.

I’ve tested in situ now and the image quality is massively better now - perfectly acceptable with good lighting. I’ll have to find a solution to no zoom - some of the people won’t want to be filmed so it’s either point it at the ceiling cutting out the seating, have it somewhere else on a long USB or zoom. Seems zoom isn’t an option and pointing at the ceiling doesn’t make good video, so might have to move the webcam.

Have you ever tested extending the webcam over ethernet to the X2 say with something cheap and cheerful like this, or something a bit more robust like this. I can’t imagine the cheap and cheerful version will work very well at all, but the more expensive extender seems a bit overkill for the application.

I know it’s not directly related to the X2, but have you tried any extenders or can you offer any thoughts on getting some distance between the webcam and the X2?

Unfortunately we have not tested this. It’s also quite possible that the webcam wont be recognize if there isn’t enough power in the signal or if the webcam does not recognize the UVC drivers built into Webcaster X2

Ok thanks for the reply, I’m rather skeptical as to whether this kind of approach would work as well, and actually have just come across active USB 2.0 repeaters such as this one which seem to go up to around 30m, despite the max recommended length of a standard USB 2.0 cable being 5m. There are plenty of reciews/questions etc saying they work with a webcam. An inexpensive solution so might give that a go and if it works I’ll add an update here and also add it to the post that shows kit that plays nicely with the X2 (if I can find it again!).

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Hi, someone tested Razier Kiyo? Interested in image quality and work. Someone share an opinion?